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12 December 2023

King's academics make the Best Female Scientists in the World 2023 Ranking

Five scientists from King’s have been ranked as some of the top female scientists in the world for this year by

Professor Francesca Happe, Professor Janet Treasure, Professor Lucilla Poston, Professor Irene Higginson and Professor Cathryn Lewis

The list is based on analysis of over 166,000 profiles of scientists across the globe and the order of ranking is based on something called the 'H-index', which evaluates the rate of each scientist's contribution within their area of research, as well as awards and recognition of the scholars.

Only the top 1,000 female scientists with the highest H-index make the list, which aims "to inspire female researchers, women pondering an academic profession, as well as decision-makers around the world with the example of successful women in the research community”.

The King’s academics ranked are:

Professor Lucilla Poston CBE

Professor Lucilla Poston CBE, Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health

Professor Poston leads a research team which investigates disorders of pregnancy. Her research examines maternal nutrition, obesity and gestational diabetes, with a focus on the early life origins of health and disease. Professor Poston is President of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009. In 2017 she was awarded a CBE for Services to Women’s Health.

Professor Francesca Happe

Professor Francesca Happé CBE, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Professor Happé's work has explored the nature of social understanding in neurotypical development and ‘mentalising’ difficulties in autism. Some of her most recent work focuses on mental health on the autism spectrum, and under-researched subgroups including women and the elderly. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences and past-President of the International Society for Autism Research. Professor Happé has received the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal and President’s Award, the Experimental Psychology Society Prize and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, and in 2021 was awarded a CBE for Services to the Study of Autism.

Professor Janet Treasure OBE

Professor Janet Treasure OBE, Professor of Adult Psychiatry

A key focus of Professor Treasure's research has been working with people with lived experience of an eating disorder (patients and carers) to co-design, co-develop and co-deliver new treatments with a particular focus on people with a severe enduring illness or comorbidities such as diabetes. Professor Treasure, who is also a Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, has led several multi-centre treatment studies, including the development of the Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA) and the new Maudsley Collaborative Care approach for supporters in order to improve transitions from high intensity care for patients with severe anorexia nervosa. In 2013, Professor Treasure was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to People with Eating Disorders, and last year was elected as a new Fellow to the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Irene Higginson OBE

Professor Irene Higginson OBE, Professor of Palliative Care & Policy

Professor Higginson, who is Founding Professor of the Cicely Saunders Institute, Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine, NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigator and Fellow of the Academy of Science, is in the top 1% of highly cited academics, having published more than 700 articles in peer-reviewed journals and received over 50,000 citations. Through her current research programmes, Professor Higginson investigates treatments, symptom management, access and services in palliative care. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for Services to Medicine.

Professor Cathryn Lewis

Professor Cathryn Lewis, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics

Professor Lewis' research is in the genetics of psychiatric disorders, where she applies her statistical training to identify the inherited genetic variants that contribute to mental health disorders. She co-chairs the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium’s Major Depressive Disorder working group, collaborating with hundreds of scientists worldwide to uncover the genetics of depression. She is funded by Wellcome to identify the genetic contribution to response to antidepressants: genetic predictors of treatment response could be used in personalised prescribing.

“I am delighted to see that so many of our academics made this year’s top ranking for best female scientists in the world, for their impactful research and advancing of knowledge and understanding. Congratulations to all the academics who made this year’s ranking.”

Professor Bashir M. Al-Hashimi CBE FRS, Vice President (Research & Innovation) at King’s

In this story

Janet Treasure

Professor of Adult Psychiatry

Lucilla Poston

Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health

Cathryn Lewis

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics

Francesca Happé

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Bashir M. Al-Hashimi

Vice President (Research & Innovation)

Irene Higginson

Executive Dean, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care